Introduction and Context
1.1 Our Principles, Beliefs and Philosophy
Aryob Private High School’s unique philosophy is to ‘Be Ambitious’, which is underpinned by our belief and commitment that all our students will be supported to realize ambition by learning and thriving in the safest possible environment.
Our students are empowered to make decisions for themselves and are supported in this by learning through specific elements of the curriculum,
aimed at enabling students to be able to keep themselves safe (e.g. through personal, social and health education, Wellness program or similar).
Aryob Private High School and all our schools recognize that having a safeguarding and child protection policy does not mean that any risk to our students is eliminated. Rather, we expect that all Aryob Private High School staff, including all staff and volunteers in our schools and any contractors or partner agency staff used by schools, recognize where a student is at risk of, or is actually being harmed and do all they can to reduce further risk or further harm.
We recognize that our schools are particularly important in protecting our students; they are in
the best position to identify concerns early and provide or identify help for students as well as
helping to prevent these concerns from escalating. Consequently, Aryob Private High School and all its branches accept and adhere to these basic principles:
1.2 Aims and objectives
Aryob Private High School and all its branches aim to:
1.3 Accountability and Ownership
This policy will be endorsed and adopted at the highest levels, both in our schools and in the
organization. The policy will be adopted by EXCO (Executive Committee) and signed off by the CEO.
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children refers to the processes of protecting students from harm, preventing the impairment of their health and development, ensuring that we seek to improve the general health and well-being of all students in our care and enabling every student to have the optimum life chances and enter adulthood successfully.
Child Protection is the core element of safeguarding and is defined as the responsibility to protect children who are suffering or likely to suffer from harm as a result of abuse or neglect.
If our school’s preventative work around safeguarding issues is not appropriate or extensive
enough, students identified as being a concern may move to being identified as at risk of
significant harm. Although other factors outside of the schools’ control may also influence this, the purpose of the policy is to ensure that Aryob Private High School takes whatever measures are possible to avoid this from happening.
3.1 Organizational and Individual Responsibilities
Aryob Private High School’s Senior Management Responsibilities
EXCO, the Chief Executive Officer and the Education Director recognize their ultimate
responsibility to ensure that the organization and all Aryob schools understand
and follow the guidance provided by this and all other safeguarding related policies.
Principals/Head Teachers and Senior Management Team in Schools Responsibilities
The Principal/Head teachers and senior management team in each school will:
Responsibilities of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Deputy) in a school
Every school will identify at least one named person designated as the Safeguarding Lead (DSL),
to support the Principal/Head Teachers on each site. This means that schools with split sites will
have more than one Designated Lead for safeguarding. This person/people will: receive
appropriate safeguarding training to equip them to undertake their role; be given sufficient time
in the working day to undertake the role; and be able to prioritize safeguarding when necessary.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead may be the Head teacher/Principal if appropriate, but he/she
will be subject to the same training and processes as every other Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Schools are therefore advised to give careful consideration before choosing the Head
teacher/Principal to act as the Designated Lead for Safeguarding.
The designated staff role is guided by two principles:
All staff have the responsibility to report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead any concern
they have about the safety of any child in their care. The Designated Safeguarding Lead’s
responsibility is to make decisions about what to do next and then to take appropriate
Responsibilities on all staff (including partner organizations and contractors having
regular unsupervised contact with children, where regular is defined as once a week or
All staff will:
All staff who have occasional or supervised contact with children (including staff from
partner and contracted organizations) will:
Training and Support
Aryob Private High School and all its branches will ensure that:
Aryob Private Schools recognize our duty of care to our employees and
where staff have been involved in reporting and responding to abuse, we recognize that this
can be very difficult to deal with in isolation. Aryob’s schools will therefore be in a position to offer or broker appropriate external support or counselling for any staff member affected by a safeguarding issue. Aryob’s schools will keep a list of organizations (such as law firms, hospitals and counsellors, which can be made available to staff on request).
5.1 Forms of Abuse
There are a significant number of ways that students may be exposed to risk and danger. All
require a response. Abuse is defined as any form of maltreatment of a child. This can manifest itself as direct harm to a child, or by a failure to take action to protect a child who is at risk of, or already suffering harm.
The more commonly referred to types of abuse are:
While the above are the broad four main areas of potential abuse, abuse itself can take
many forms involving one or more of these areas. Organizational and school staff need to be aware of what to look for and what actions to take when concerned about any of these issues (or any other concerns).
Self-harm can take a number of physical and/or emotional forms. There are many reasons why children and young people try to hurt themselves. Once they start, it can become a compulsion.
This is why it is so important for schools to spot it as soon as possible and do everything possible to help. Self-harm is not usually a suicide attempt or a cry for attention. Instead, it is often a way for young people to release overwhelming emotions and a way of coping. So, whatever the reason, it should be taken seriously.
The exact reasons why children and young people decide to hurt themselves are not always easy to work out. In fact, they might not even know exactly why they do it, but there are links between depression and self-harm.
Quite often a child or young person who is self-harming is being bullied, under too much pressure, being emotionally abused, grieving or having relationship problems with family or friends. The feelings that these issues bring up can include: low self-esteem, low confidence, loneliness, sadness, anger, numbness and lack of control in their lives.
Young people will sometimes go to great lengths to cover self-harm scars or injuries and/or they will explain any indications of self-harm as accidents.
There are some common themes that may help staff identify concerns including:
If staff suspect that a student is self-harming this must be referred to the Designated Safeguarding Lead who will consider the next steps. It is likely that this will require discussion with the student involved and their parents/carers to agree a course of action or referral to an organization that may be able to support the student.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 can involve exploitative
relationships where young people receive something in return for performing sexual acts.
Exploitation of any student can occur on a face-to-face level or through the use of technology, such as mobile phones or computers. In these situations a student could be encouraged to send or post indecent images of themselves.
In all cases the person exploiting students does so by misusing the power they have over them. This power may come through virtue of age, physical strength and/or economic resources. Violence, intimidation and coercion are common in exploitative relationships.
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.
Sexting may also be referred to by students as trading nudes, dirties or pic for pic.
There are many reasons why a student may want to send a naked or semi-naked picture, video or message to someone else:
Joining in because they think that ‘everyone is doing it’.
Students often do not realize that in creating and sending these images they are potentially
committing a criminal act. Ideally, we would not want to deal with these issues as criminal acts.
Learning and support can be a more beneficial way of tackling sexting.
5.2 Specific Safeguarding Issues
The growth in electronic media in everyday life and an ever-developing variety of devices create
additional risks for children. Risks and dangers of being online include:
Cyber bullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behavior and is most often related to social networks and mobile phones.
Aryob Private High School believes the best way to protect our students is to teach awareness and understanding of risk, particularly through personal, social and health education, sex and
relationship education or wellness programs. Each school’s curriculum includes appropriate
and frequent opportunities to teach children how to recognize when they and others are at risk
and equips them with the skills, strategies and language they need to take appropriate action.
Mobile phone and Camera Images
It is our policy that practitioners, teachers and visitors to our Early Years settings should not use personal mobile phones to take images of children. In our primary and secondary schools, if personal equipment is used to capture child images, these images should be uploaded to the
schools’ system as soon as possible and immediately deleted from personal equipment.
Permission to capture images, videos or audio recordings should be sought from the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Head Teacher for the school.
Photographs for School Publications:
Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers
An allegation can be made against a staff member or volunteer at any point. It is important that any such allegations are treated seriously and appropriate procedures followed.
An allegation is different to a complaint and can be defined as follows:
In the event of an allegation being made against a member of the school staff (or a volunteer
helper), it will always be referred to and investigated by the Principal unless a criminal act has been committed, in which case the matter should be referred to the local authorities where appropriate. If the Principal deems the allegation to be of a safeguarding nature (criminal or not) the Head of Safeguarding for APHS must be informed as soon as possible and certainly within 24 hours.
HR must also be informed by contacting the regional HR Director and the Group HR Director as soon as possible. In the case of the allegation being against the Principal,
the Regional HR Director and the Regional Managing Director, as well as the Head of Safeguarding and Group HR Director should be informed.
For serious allegations, the matter must always be reported as soon as possible to the Director of Education, the Group HR Director and the Chief Executive Officer, and the regional emergency plan should be deployed.
No action to investigate the concern should be taken before consultation with the Head of Safeguarding and HR, and Group Legal to verify if Legal Privilege is to be maintained, and agreement reached about how best to approach and investigate the concern. If it is felt, after these initial consultations, that further enquiries are needed, then the member of staff may be suspended.
Suspension is a neutral act, and in no way implies that the person is guilty of any wrongdoing. It is acknowledged that this would be distressing for the person concerned, and the school will do all it can to balance the interests of any individual with that of the need to keep children safe.
The school will seek advice from the Regional HR Director/Head of Safeguarding before acting and will comply with national and locally agreed guidance on these matters.
Each school is expected to have researched and mapped the local arrangements and guidance for dealing with allegations, and these should be reviewed at this stage.
Staff will reduce the possibility of an allegation being made by ensuring that they are aware of the expectations within the Aryob Private High School code of conduct for staff and volunteers and the Aryob Private High School guidance for safe working practice.
Aryob Private High School and our schools recognize that we cannot expect children to raise concerns in an environment where adults fail to do so. All staff and volunteers should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the actions or attitude of colleagues.
Appropriate concerns raised for the right reasons are considered to be a protected disclosure and, even if proven to be unfounded, no action will be taken against the whistle-blower.
Malicious whistleblowing however, will be seen as a potential disciplinary matter. (see Aryob Privat High School whistleblowing policy).
Bullying is a safeguarding matter and if left unresolved can become a more serious child
protection issue. Staff at every level will take seriously any concerns raised in relation to the
bullying of any student. Action will always be taken to investigate the concerns and to prevent repeat incidents or behaviors. Bullying may involve either face-to-face or the misuse of social
media or technology. Each school should have its own policy and approach to restorative
practices and all our schools will demonstrate a commitment to help resolve specific issues.
Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities
All staff should recognize that children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities can mean additional safeguarding challenges.
Depending on the nature of a child’s special need or disability, additional barriers can exist which make it more difficult to identify and recognize signs of abuse. For example, it is easy to assume that a child’s mood, behavior or any injury relates to their disability rather than the fact they may be suffering abuse. It should also be recognized that children with disabilities may be disproportionately impacted on by behaviors such as bullying but they may not show any outward signs.
Communication difficulties, in particular, can make it very difficult for a child to indicate what’s happening and, therefore, may make it very difficult to overcome any such barrier. Staff should be extra vigilant and report any and all concerns, avoiding making assumptions about the causes of any injury or behavior.
Allegations made by a child about another child (Peer on peer abuse)
ASS and all our schools recognize that children are capable of abusing their peers. Where an allegation is made that one child may have abused another, this will always be taken seriously and dealt with as a safeguarding matter.
Peer on peer abuse can take many forms, and gender issues can be prevalent when dealing with this type of abuse. Examples can include girls being touched/assaulted inappropriately by boys, or boys themselves being subject to initiation violence. This type of peer on peer behavior will not be tolerated. Under no circumstances should an allegation that one child has possibly abused another be treated “as just children being children” or “experimentation”.
If the alleged actions are unwanted or involve minors who may not be able to give consent by virtue of their age or any disability, then this is potentially abusive and the school procedures should be followed in the same way as for any other safeguarding or child protection matter.
Safeguarding students who are vulnerable to extremism
Aryob Private High Schools value freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs/ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values.
Both students and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or leads to violence and harm of others, goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion. Any freedom of speech which promotes violence against anyone or anything else will not be tolerated.
There may be times when adults in schools, in the course of their school duties, have to intervene physically in order to restrain students and prevent them from coming to harm. Such intervention should always be both reasonable and proportionate to the circumstances and be the minimum necessary to resolve the situation.
The Principal/Head teacher should require any adult involved in any such incident to report the matter to him/her as soon as possible. The staff member is required to document the incident in full giving a description and full account of the incident. Witnesses to the incident should be identified where possible.
Where intervention has been required a senior member of staff should be asked to debrief the
student and allow them to describe the incident from their point of view. Written notes of this
conversation should be kept and the student checked for any injuries.
Parents/carers should always be informed when an intervention has been necessary.
The accepted definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behavior, violence or
abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
and emotional Exposure to domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children.
In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. Domestic abuse affecting young people can also occur within their personal relationships, as well as in the context of their home life.
Safe Recruitment and Selection
Aryob School System and all our schools will do all they can to ensure that all those working with children in our schools and across the whole organization are suitable people. In order to do this, all staff who will work in an unsupervised capacity with children or young people will be recruited using safe recruitment procedures.
Safe Recruitment involves scrutinizing applicants through the interview process and application forms, verifying identity, qualifications and obtaining appropriate references, undertaking criminal background checks from all countries where the applicant has lived or worked in the last 10 years, as well as some additional recruitment checks.
6.1 Procedures to be followed by any staff member or volunteer who is
concerned about any student If staff suspect that any student in their care may be a victim of abuse, or is at risk of abuse or other form of harm, they should not try to investigate, and inform the Designated Safeguarding
Lead (DSL) about their concerns as soon as possible.
Staff must disclose any concerns they have about the possibility of a student being abused or placing themselves at risk. It is better to share these concerns, which may later prove to be unfounded, than to hold onto information that may have helped protect a student from actual harm.
In many cases a student will not make a direct disclosure, but staff will be concerned
because of a physical or emotional indicator. In these circumstances staff should still use the record of concern form at appendix 1 and the body map at appendix 2 (if appropriate), to make a report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Where any student makes any form of direct disclosure, the guidelines under the heading ‘Dealing with Disclosure’ below should be followed.
6.2 Dealing with Disclosure, Reporting and Further Action
Note: Be aware that if a child asks to speak to someone in confidence about a problem, no one should ever promise confidentiality if what the child discloses or is likely to disclose relates to abuse being suffered by them or another child. Staff should always give this as a health warning before meeting with the child.
The following guidance is based on five key practices for all staff:
Where possible always stop and listen to a child who wishes to speak in confidence. We know that children will often find the most inconvenient time to do this, but it is important that you make time for the child, even if this is to say “I can’t stop now but come and see me in my office at….”. Where possible during any disclosure try to listen, allow silences and try not to show shock or disbelief
Try to stay calm, make no judgments and empathize with the child. Never make a promise you can’t keep. Give as much reassurance as you can and tell the child what your actions are going to be. Reassure the child that they are doing the right thing by telling you.
React to what the child is saying only in as far as you need to for further information. Don’t ask leading questions. Keep questions open such as… “is there anything else you need to tell me?”. Try not to criticize the alleged perpetrator as this may be a family member for whom the child may still have feelings.
Make brief notes about what the child says during the conversation, but if this is not possible, make notes as soon after as you can and certainly within 24 hours. Make sure to record exactly what the child says and not your interpretation of what is said. Record the time, date and place as well.
Where a child makes any disclosure, or where you have concerns for any reason, it is very important that the procedures outlined in this policy are followed. A full written/typed account of the concern should be passed to the Designated Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible and should include, where relevant, a completed body map.
Where a child has made a disclosure and alleges abuse, the Designated Safeguarding Lead (or Principal/Head Teacher in the absence of the DSL), should be informed as soon as possible. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will collate any available evidence by ensuring the notes taken from any witnesses are made available to any investigating body. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will then consider and where necessary, consult on the information available. It is the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead to make decisions about what action to take next and to make the decision whether to take the matter further within the local legal framework. It is important that a full record of all the information and decisions made are recorded and stored confidentially.
As an International Schools organization, Aryob recognizes the diverse and complex local contexts our schools operate in. Therefore, the following principles are taken into account when following the framework and procedure for disclosure, reporting and further action:
As International Schools we:
Local Safeguarding Agencies/Advice
The local legal requirements: Each school MUST insert local arrangements and contact details for local agencies and bodies who can both advise or accept referrals in this section. Alternatively, schools are free to produce a separate document that outlines which, if any, agencies are contactable or available for the school to seek advice from or make referrals to. Names and contact details of the DSL should also be included.
7.1 Record Keeping and Confidentiality
All records of child protection concerns, disclosures or allegations should be treated as sensitive
information and should be kept together securely and separately from the child’s general school records. The information should be shared with all those who need to have it, whether to enable them to take appropriate steps to safeguard the child, or to enable them to carry out their own duties, but it should not be shared more widely than that.
This record should be passed as soon as possible to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. Concerns, which initially seem trivial, may turn out to be vital pieces of information later. So, it is important to give as much detail as possible.
A concern raised may not progress further than a conversation with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, but could also potentially lead to matters being dealt with through a legal system. If there hasn’t been a specific incident that causes concern, try to be specific about what it is that is making you feel worried.
In the case of disclosure, remember the record you make should include:
Our schools should regard all information relating to individual Safeguarding/child protection issues as confidential, and should treat it accordingly. Information should be passed on to appropriate persons only at the discretion of the Principal/Head teacher/Designated Safeguarding Lead and this should always be based on the need to know.
All records relating to child protection should be secured appropriately. Such information can be stored electronically but contemporaneous notes should be scanned and kept in original format.